NEWS HR

A nurse who admitted to falsifying employment references for positions overseas has been fined and censured. Conrado Santos, applied for two positions in Queensland last year and successfully asked two line managers at Waikato Hospital to provide written references. Mr Santos altered their written words and set up fake email accounts purporting to belong to his two managers, from which he sent his polished-up versions. He also created a false email account for one of the perspective employers and told the two line managers to email their references there. The email accounts were created from Hotmail and Outlook accounts. Mr Santos embellished the original references and sent them on. He admitted four charges of professional misconduct at a Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in Wellington in November last year.

A woman who was amongst several girls raped or indecently assaulted by a social worker 30 years ago will seek compensation from the Government over its handling of the case.

A nurse is appearing before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal on a raft of dishonesty charges. For more than two years, the nurse used a web of elaborate lies to gain employment, and lied again to cover her incompetence. The fantasy was constructed with false references from people she never met, a made-up pregnancy, and grandiose tales of her professional prowess.

Payroll mistakes are undermining morale among Wellington’s health workers, advocates say. Wellington health workers, including doctors and nurses, have been missing out on allowances, overtime and holiday pay because of a payroll system described as “diabolical”. “If we made those kind of mistakes in our roles that payroll are making, patients would die,” one unnamed nurse at Capital & Coast District Health Board said.

Pauline Lockett, Taranaki DHB Chair has announced the resignation of Tony Foulkes after 12 years as Chief Executive of Taranaki District Health Board.

Maori make up only 3 per cent of the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board’s workforce, despite making up 12 per cent of the district’s population. Figures from the New Zealand Medical Workforce survey released last week show the proportion of doctors who identify as Maori is increasing nationally, although Maori are still under-represented in the medical workforce when compared to the proportion of Maori in the general population. Nelson Marlborough District Health Board Maori health and whanau ora general manager Harold Wereta said Maori employed by the health board made up 3 per cent of its total workforce, mostly in health care assistant and administrative roles. The proportion of Maori workers in Nelson and Marlborough’s health workforce had remained reasonably stable in the past two years, Wereta said. A long-term aim of the health board was to strengthen the diversity of its workforce, which would include boosting the representation of Maori, Pacific and refugee communities. The health board was exploring how it could improve the recruitment and retention of Maori employees, Wereta said. Steps had also been taken to improve the cultural awareness of all health board staff. “Maori health and health inequalities are the responsibility of all health professionals,” Wereta said.

Former food service manager at North Shore Hospital Padmini Singh was rightly dismissed, an ERA decision says. A food safety manager in an Auckland hospital who was fired after unsafe work practices was not unjustifiably dismissed as she claims. Former food service manager at North Shore Hospital Padmini Singh was employed by Compass Group from August 2009 until January 2015. Her employment ended after she was found to have been lacking in a number of areas in food safety and a decision on a demotion for her couldn’t be reached. Compass Group had already been warned about food safety prior to audits of Singh’s work coming up short. An outbreak of norovirus at North Shore Hospital in 2012 was found to have most likely originated in the hospital kitchen – though this was never confirmed nor linked to Singh. During the outbreak there were 59 cases of gastroenteritis with each patient having had the same food. The Ministry for Primary Industries conducted an investigation and there were indications the culprit may have been a chicken and barley soup served at lunch. Ultimately, the source of the norovirus was not determined and MPI issued a formal warning to Compass Group that it was at risk of legal action. Operations manager Raymond Hall said this warning was related to hand hygiene practices, training and food safety documentation. An internal inspection in 2014 while Singh was food safety manager showed the kitchen was not up to scratch in terms of cleanliness. The breaches to food safety including inconsistently cooling meat down and incorrectly recording temperatures. A deep cleaning of the kitchen was undertaken to bring the site up to the required cleanliness standard and to prepare for an upcoming external audit. At a disciplinary meeting in October 2014, Singh took responsibility for the concerns raised in the audit and said she was facing considerable pressure in her personal and family life, which had affected her work and performance. She was offered another role at Waitakere Hospital which came with fewer responsibilities and less money but she declined the transfer saying a November 2014 report found overall standards of cleanliness were good and equipment was well-maintained. Singh instead accepted a performance improvement plan. But she was reminded that additional staffing had been needed to bring the standards up to scratch and it was appropriate to remove her from her role. Despite discussions between the parties no agreement could be reached about her redeployment and so her employment ended in January. The authority found all processes had been followed and Singh was not unjustifiably dismissed. Costs were reserved.